This is a picture of my desk:

And this is a picture of the table next to my desk:

Notice how the entire area is a breeding ground for papers, sticky notes, notebooks, flash drives, binder clips, snacks, and possibly small furry animals.  I wouldn’t know, because it’s a mess.  The EPA is probably about to make it a Superfund site.

Does a handwritten to-do list have a chance here? Nope.  Do I work best with a list of things to accomplish staring me in the face?  Sure do.  Do I have a problem? DAMN STRAIGHT.

My current to-do list.

Enter Lino. Lino is a virtual bulletin board you can populate with sticky notes, photos, media files, links, and calendars, plus probably the Holy Grail and the Hope Diamond.  It’s shareable to anyone you want, and it can port across your various devices.  For those of you who like things simple, you’ll appreciate that it runs in a web browser–no app or particular system needed.

Each item on your to-do list can become a sticky note.  These sticky notes are turbo-bosted, though–not only do they come in colors, but you can add due dates, tags, and choose from an assortment of icons that have nothing to do with work, for the most part, but LOOK AT THE CUTE BUNNY FACE.  I choose the wine glass for anything having to do with financial or accounting tasks, because numbers make me want to have a beverage.

Where was I?

There are enough colors available that you can color-code your tasks, if that’s your jam.  I prefer to have lots of colors all over the board, but you know what, there’s a feature for that.  If you tag your stickies well, you can then click on a tag and the site will hide any stickies that don’t have that tag.  For example, most of my stickies right now have to do with blogging for the Edge.  So I click “blogs” and–voila!  There’s nothing else to distract me when I want to focus on blogging tasks.

I’m not so good at dating my stickies, but the same feature works by date; click on any date to see what you’ve set to be due on that day.  If you get into sticky overload and can’t find one with the date you want to click, you can also sort by date on the calendar at the bottom right.

If you end up using the site for more than just a daily to-do list, you can create multiple boards for multiple purposes.  Say you’re writing a grant and following our nanocourse on grant preparation and timeline creation.  Perhaps you have one board that’s your timeline (that you share with your team), one’s a to-do list for everything else work-related you do in a day, and one’s for personal to-do list items.

If Lino’s not your thing, there are plenty more apps and sites like it out there.  But from one disorganized packrat to another–this is a lifeline.  Check it out.

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